Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Finally, a losing streak

You knew it would happen eventually, and the Cavaliers almost made it to the All-Star break without a losing streak. But it finally caught up with them last night in a heartbreaking 96-95 loss (highlights) in Indiana to the Pacers. After TJ Ford gave the Pacers a two-point lead with .8 seconds left it appeared hopeless. But the Cavs drew up a great inbounds play with a lob pass to LeBron from the sideline and he was fouled by Danny Granger with just .4 seconds left. LeBron hit two huge pressure free throws and it appeared the game was headed for overtime. But amazingly, the Pacers ran a similar inbounds play with a lob to Granger, and referee Joey Crawford had the audacity to whistle LeBron for the foul with .1 second left on the clock in one of the all-time worst make-up calls that I've ever witnessed. And of course Granger made one free throw to end the game.

The infamous make-up call with 0.1 left on the clock

I won't waste my time complaining about that call, as awful as it was. I'll leave that to Mike Brown. The main problem was how everyone besides LeBron played last night. No one showed up at all to help him out. The interior defense was again pathetic most of the night. No one could hit an open shot. I shudder to think how ugly it would have been without LBJ's heroics (47 points on 15-of-21 shooting, including 13-for-14 from the line). Particularly bad performances were put up by Boobie (2-for-7 shooting and 5 fouls in 26 minutes) and Z (5-for-17 shooting and 5 fouls in 36 minutes).

But I won't panic after this loss. The team is clearly limping to the upcoming All-Star break with all the injured bodies. They are still 39-11 and 23-1 at home. But tonight's game at the Q vs. the Suns becomes imperative for them to win in order to head into the break on a high note. Let's hope LeBron gets some help from the rest of his able-bodied teammates. 40-11 would sound a hell of a lot better than 39-12, right?